30 June 2014

The day we finished our diet!

Let's be honest, who really wanted to hear 2 more weeks of diets and meal plans??  I decided to sum up weeks 3 and 4 in 1 post.


Before I go any farther, I have to give a shout-out to my workout buddy: Jessica Smith TV! Seriously, I couldn't have done the exercise without her! She has cardio videos, toning videos, and even yoga videos ALL FREE!!

Check out these videos: 


I LOVE her workouts! I just feel so good after I finish one! She is super encouraging!

And the best part: I can do it at home, no drive to the gym, AND I can workout in my underwear! (You know, if I wanted to...)


These weeks the meal plan included less cucumber and less salads for lunch (thankfully!) and more leftovers!  I love eating leftovers for lunch.

We changed the meal plan a lot, I feel a bit rebellious.  We changed all the yucky-sounding meals.

Smoked salmon for breakfast?  Nah!  Eggs are ok. 

Or bacon.  Bacon is always good.

[look at all that stuff I changed on the meal plan!]


Day 1 went well.  Day 2 and my stomach is growling.  We've tried the "Mango Fat Burning Smoothie" instead of the "Oatmeal Fruit Smoothie," which has been awesome!  I get to eat it with my favorite salty snack: Savory Thin Mini Crisps!  They're gluten-free rice chips made by Trader Joe's.  I don't know how those fit in with the whole "no processed foods" thing, but they rock.  Only, I'm hungry already and it's only 9 am. (I ate breakfast around 7).  Maybe the smoothie is actually burning fat...


Man.  I just had some awesome guacamole!  I feel like some of the food on this diet is better than normal food!  Our desert is fantastic!  Some of the snacks are delicious.  And her chili is awesome!

Look at this breakfast:  Chock full of goodness:  Fruits, Veggies, Hummus, Sprouted-grain toast:

And this lunch:

Guacomole, Hummus, Cucumbers, Red peppers, and Chili!  That's a good day of food!  (and we had more food for dinner!  This doesn't feel like a diet at all!)


People.  I have a very serious question.  Is it ok to eat spinach with holes??

Will I be ok??


This past 2 days I've eaten:

Cantaloupe (I don't think I ate more than one of those first two)
Mangoes (which can alternatively be spelled mangos)

Which is more fruit in two days than I normally eat in a whole week!  I felt like all the sour and sugar was going to burn a hole in my stomach. 


My last Wednesday of the diet I was severely tempted to eat a delicious looking chocolate croissant.  I love those equally as much as bagels and cream cheese!  Everything else for breakfast is not nearly as good.

I grabbed one..........to take home and put in my freezer for after the diet.

I mean, they were from Zaguan, a local Latin bakery.  I couldn't pass that up completely when we were so close to the finish line!

Later that day, at lunch I got made fun of by a super-pushy, rude drug representative trying to get me to use her diet pills.  I was eating lettuce wraps (not nearly as good as P.F Chang's, but they were fresh and nome-made, which is a huge plus!) 

She kept trying to get me to eat the food she brought.  She would say, "Why don't you just eat some of my chicken."  But it was covered in cheese.  And then she said, "I brought healthy sides, look at the broccoli."  Which was covered in cheese and mixed with rice.  

No thanks, I'll just eat my own delicious food and avoid your entire meal.

I finished my food and stopped just outside the door to grab some water to refill my waterbottle.  The lady couldn't see me, but she told all the other girls in the lunchroom that I was crazy for not just eating my food with bread or a tortilla like normal people.


See if I ever use the drug you represent.  Ever.

[part of my lettuce wraps, I forgot to take a photo first]


I learned some new skills:  Using ginger, sesame oil, and flax seeds!  For some reason, I thought we needed 8 oz of sesame oil, but we only needed 3.  So we have 5 leftover ounces.  I learned that you can use that in place of tahini when making hummus, so I'll try that out and get back to you.  

Trader Joe's didn't have sesame seeds.  I got flax seeds instead since they looked similar.  Then I got confused with flax seeds and sesame seeds and chia seeds and poppyseads.  I really don't know the difference.  I just know that the both flax seeds and chia seeds are good for you AND flax seeds look more like sesame seeds AND they are less expensive than chia seeds, so I bought those.

Do you grow a chia pet from chia seeds?  Add that to the list of things I don't know.

We used all 3 new ingrediants in 1 recipe: Sesame chicken stir fry.  Good.  But not awesome.  We need to find a modification to the recipe to make it better.  Anyone have a good recipe for healthy, veggie stir-fry?


[flax seeds that could totally pass for sesame seeds, right?]

["sesame chicken"]


Friends!  Be warned!  You can accidentally pulverize red onion in a food processor and make it like a smoothie.  Its yucky.  Avoid over-cutting the onion at all costs!


We did it!  We finished the diet!!  

Then we ate fro-yo.

And its funny.  After we ate the frozen yogurt, we both felt kinda terrible.  We wished we hadn't eaten any.  (and I only had a few ounces of it.)  We both wished we had chosen to eat the "brownie balls" made with dates, walnuts, and raw cacoa instead.  

Here's how to make our new favorite (guilt-free, gluten-free, processed sugar-free) and delicious desert!  We slightly adapted this recipe from a pinterest pin who just said "mix 2 c walnuts, 1 c dates, and 4 tbsp of cocoa together in a food processer, then roll into balls).  Great idea, but super non-descriptive.  Here's how we do it:

Get 2 cups walnuts.  We used Trader Joe's brand since we live right next door. 

Then add 1 cup dates.  The original recipe didn't specify which kind, but we found the Medjool dates to be the best.  The flavor and consistancy was better.  Also, we experienced better results from fresher dates. (go figure).

[clearly, they're fancy!]

[take the pits out by cutting them in half!]

Then add 3-4 tbsp of raw cacoa.  Our Trader Joes didn't have this.  (well, I didn't ask because they were so busy, so they might have it hidden somewhere).  I found it at Sprouts.  They also sell it at our favorite spice/flavoring store: Penzies.

Throw it all in the food processor.  Pocess about 25-30 seconds and check out the mix.  I did that about 3 times for a total of about 1.5 minutes.

This is the consistancy you want.

Then pack balls together like snowballs.  It doesn't work like cookie dough to roll it together.  When it is still sticky, roll in raw, unsweetened coconut.

Which I didn't list in the ingrediants because we ended up not using it.

We got the wrong kind of unsweetened coconut.  You want to buy the shavings that are nice and soft that you can put on ice cream or fro-yo.  We bought the "string."  It was hard and it didn't stick to the balls of dough.  If anyone wants some coconut "string" (don't actually picture string, think of it as short choppy, crunchy coconut shavings) it's up for grabs.  Free.  Barely used.  Just let me know and it's yours.


So now that we're off the diet we're pseudo-sticking to it.  We made our own meal plan with snacks and stuff.  I'm back to eating lunch from drug reps and stuff.  Ryan is trying harder to stick closer to the "maintenence phase" of the diet.  He's hoping to keep losing weight with regular workouts and better portion control (the slow, healthy kind of weight loss.)

He was pretty excited because he lost 15 lbs.  I was pretty excited because I was worried I would lose weight, and I didn't (well, I lost 3 lbs the first 2 weeks, so I cheated with a glass of sangria and now I weigh the same as I did before the diet)

I'm all excited because he fits into his Tanzania jersey I bought for him and he gave me his old shirt to sleep in.  We gave the rest of the stuff to good will.

And there you have it.  The Fast Metabolism Diet completed. 

19 June 2014

The day I joined Stitch Fix!

Most people have to look nice for work.

I never used to have to look nice. I looked presentable, but never "nice" because there was at least a 20% chance of getting bodily fluids on me. Working with kids has that effect on you. (I used to work in a pediatric clinic)

But now I work with adults and most days I don't quite look like an adult. (I work in Family practice now...if you need a doctor, let me know!  I work with some awesome doctors!!)

I think my problem is that I have all these clothes that are super comfy and I can't get rid of them because I'm all sentimental or something. But I'm growing up and it's time to look that way.

  Well, it's time for me to dress that way at least.

It's just hard for me to pick out clothes that look nice, are good quality, and then actually fit well.

Combine that with the hassle of not being able to drag my husband to the mall very often to shop, and you get a clothing disaster.

Enter: Stitch Fix.

It's a personal style service. You pay someone to pick out clothes for you. It costs 20 dollars per month to have someone style you, but that 20 dollars goes toward your purchase. So, as long as you buy one item, you don't pay to have clothes shipped to you and shipped back!

First, you go online and fill out a customer profile with your height, weight, and basic sizes. Then you look at groups of clothing and identify your style. I tend to like classic lines and styles.  But they have a million categories like bohemian, romantic, casual, etc.... If you're looking for a specific item, say a maxi dress or a pencil skirt, or even a good dress to wear to a summer wedding, you can tell them and they will send you that too!

Then they send you a box with 5 items inside that are personally picked by your stylist. You get to open it, try everything on, model it in the mirror (or in my case for my husband) and pear it with your clothes so you know if it looks perfect with those shoes you have or a pear of jeans you own.  Whatever you don't want you put into a pre-stamped, self-sealing bag and drop it by the post office.

Easy peasy! And so fun!

Let me walk you through how fun it was:

"Oh look! It's a box addressed to me! Full of treasure in the form of clothing perfectly picked out just for me! What fun!"

I will admit that the box was smaller than I imagined it for holding 5 clothing items, but still exciting!

"Oh, how cute is the inside of this box! I can't wait to rip through that tissue paper and see what they picked!!"

Only, I can't actually rip through tissue paper because I'm one of those people that likes things done neatly and orderly. So I carefully opened it. Because that's how I roll.

I start to pull things out:

"Oh look! A fun blue top that looks stylish and professional, but how am I going to wear that and what do I do with the little strings hanging off of it?"

Not to worry! Stitch Fix style cards to the rescue!  I tie the strings as shown below, then lay it out and move on to the next discovery!

"A yellow cardigan! I love yellow! I may need a cardigan for work, it's always cold in there! But how else can I wear it?"

Here's stitch fix again, showing me options for the yellow cardigan:

Man, I should think about rotating that photo!

Actually, what I should have said was: I should learn how to rotate photos!

"Oh, a black pencil skirt! This is THE signature staple of a classy wardrobe! No wardrobe would be complete without one! In fact, I even have one in my wardrobe! Let's compare these two pencil skirts, because maybe this one will look better on me!"

I put it to The Husband Test: "hey baby, can you look at me with these two skirts? Which one looks better?" 

They look the same? Oh.

But hey look, here is a fun way to wear the skirt I already own:

I promise (maybe) that this is the last sideways photo...

"Oooooohhh, look at this dress! I can already tell this will be my new favorite dress! The fabric is breathable but won't blow up in the wind! The style is oh-so-classy!  I can't wait to try this on!!"

"Oh, and a super cute grown-up necklace to wear with it everything! How fun! AND it's not a huge piece of bulky statement-jewlry that I would never wear, just like I asked for! These people must know me!

"Now let's lay it all out and see how it looks on my bed!"

"Oh, I guess I should have straightened out my bed sheets before laying down all my items!!"

But let's be real here, it's enough for me to get my bed made in the morning, let alone make it look pretty. 

"Now it's time to try it on! Let's start with that blue top that I'm not too sure about!"

This is me giving it "my critical eye." I'm skeptical. It gives me no shape. 

"What if I put on that pretty cardigan with it?"

"Oh! I like the cardigan, but I'm still not sure about that shirt."

"Let's try that skirt with a different skirt."

"Nah, still no shape. This is going back."

"But oh, look at that skirt!!"

"That skirt looks good on me!!"

(Which I'm allowed to say because I'm at home, in front of my mirror, and no one else is around to hear me!!)

"Let's try that cardigan on again with this!"

"Oh! That looks fun!! Although, I'm primarily looking for work clothes, and this cardigan won't work under my white coat. Hmmmm. I'll have to think about it."

"And now for THE DRESS! I hope I like it ON as much as I like it when I first opened my box!"

"Yep! You can't tell by the look on my face, but I like it!!"

"And now, where's that necklace??"

"I like it!!"

Then comes the hard part, deciding what I want.  I have a limited budget each month to cover all my "wants" (clothes, shoes, makeup, wine, meals we eat out...). If I actually need something (a plain white shirt, a new pair of flats for work) I can negotiate that into the general budget, but none of this fits into that caregory (unless I didn't already have a black pencil skirt.)

So, let's decide. You get a 25% discount if you buy everything.  But I know I don't need the blue top or black skirt...and while I love the yellow cardigan, I don't need it for work.

"And I don't wear jewlry enough to justify the necklace."

It's true, even though I love it. I would barely wear it.

"But hooray!! I love this dress! And I get a whole outfit! AND I didn't have to drag my husband to the mall. OR search for a parking spot! OR get hounded by sails ladies who try to "up-sell" the store so I end upbwalking out with 10 times more than I need! OR get the "stink eye" from sails ladies who think I don't buy enough!

I win!!

And YOU can win too!!

Just click on the link below and you can have your own fun!!


You know you want to!

PLUS if you sign up usin MY link, I get credit to buy new things. So really, if you sign up, you're not just doing it for selfish reasons, you're doing it to help me.

Pay it forward, make the world a better place. Help me get some new clothes :)


My stylist would love to find things that look great on YOU!

17 June 2014

The day we did week 2

Last week I started with a lot of words.  Words are no fun.  Lets start with pictures this week and then you can read words later if you like that kind of thing.

This is a yummy snack on protein day.  Stuffed portobello mushrooms.

This is lunch.  Red bell peppers stuffed with tuna, cucumbers, onions, and other deliciousness.

Day 3 (Week 2, Phase 2, Day 1) and I like my lunch.  And my snacks.  But I want bread.  Or sugar.  Or a cookie.  Anything!  I don't normally crave bad food.  My lunch was pretty, but not satisfying.  I blame hormones.  You'd think I'd want something that took me an hour to prepare.  I  (thankfully only briefly) cut my finger while cutting bell peppers. 

Look at those fresh, unprocessed foods.

If I put them in a food processor does that suddenly make them processed??

This was the "before" shot.

This is the "after" shot.  It made an awesome topping for a salad!

Look at me cooking breakfast before 7 am!  

(This is a rare thing to get me awake this early!)

More stuffed mushrooms on Week 2 Day 2.

Mmmm, a steak salad!  With those toppings you saw ground up earlier.  Delicious!

Balanced breakfast:  chopped, frozen strawberry slush (only ingredient) Sprouted grain bread (Ezekiel bread) with hummus and cucumbers.  Fruit, veggie, protein, starch....it's all here!

Avocados and salsa! So fresh!!

I was craving salsa and this was great!

Look at those cool bikes!

Relaxing Friday night ride! (Sunsets look way better in person, and photos look way better when you're not moving!)

Last round of 3 egg salad for a while!

Out to eat for the first time on the diet! I was able to find a plate of veggies and brown rice pasta (gluten free). Mostly diet-friendly. (No salads on the menu)

1 oz of chips was so disappointing! The salsa that went with it was not!

I've decided avocados and salsa is way better than bean-based chips and salsa.  

Corn will always be my favorite though!

This chili was SO delicious! We will for sure make it again! The base was organic  tomato-red bell pepper soup! I never thought of putting anything other than just tomatoes in chili!


The learning curve has been steep, but here we are on our second round.  Meal plans were set, we were a lot smarter about picking out snacks (read: more variety, less costly) and meals.  We wanted some meals that gave us leftovers for weeks 3&4 so we have to cook a lot less those weeks.  We wanted to keep trying new recipes, but spend less money.  We simplified some things, used leftover ingrediants (onions, hummus, stuff that stays good for more than 1 week.)  I wrote it all out.
We had some drauma on Sunday (new road-bike for me!) and a musical (Mamma Mia: see this post for a full review of the musical) so we ran out of time for groceries.  I made a quick (15 minutes!) run to Trader joe's to get all we needed for Monday meals.  Then we did the rest of our shopping on Monday night.  Total we spent about 130! Such an improvement from 175!  I had fogotten to put pork on the final list, so we ended up spending closer to 140, but we have plenty of staple ingrediants (safflour mayo, cocoa, gf flour) from last week so we should be done buying things.  We had new fruits on the menu (mangoes, pineapple, and our new favorite: blueberries!)
We had the same oatmeal smoothie Monday and Tuesday.  After complaining about the "chewy-ness" of the smoothie, I recommended that Ryan try the food processer to make the oatmeal smaller and less chewy.  The oatmeal was SO much better!  Still thick, but drinkable.  After asking what he did, he said he "just put the blender on liquify."  If I had known it was that simple, I would have done that sooner! 
Lesson # 6:  For smoother smoothies, try the liquify button.
My co-workers are impressed with all the variety of my meals on this "diet".  They keep asking for recipes.  I craved cornbread (corn is my weakness!) on Monday, but Tuesday I was pretty craving-free!  Except for Tuesday night.  I wanted anything but fruit or veggies.
I am WAY less tired this week, thankfully!  I have a FitBit (side not- this thing is awesome.  and I'm not even getting paid to say that. We LOVE our fitbits.  The company has awesome customer service!  It is a little device that tracks your steps, stairs, calories burned, and sleep) which tracks my sleep.  I sleep so badly. 
I wake up TWENTY something times most nights.  And THIRTY something times when I'm stressed. 
That's way more than normal I think. Normal people wake up 2-5 times per night.  And it's not like I am bad at sleeping.  I wake up around the same time each morning and we go to bed early.  I don't drink any kind of caffeine after noon.  I don't play on my phone in the bed or anything, I just sleep really badly and I haven't figured it out yet.  I never felt well-rested in the morning and I wouldn't get out of bed for the world!
I feel much more well-rested after following this diet.  My fitbit says I've dropped from waking up 20 something times to 4-6 times per night.  That's huge.  It's something I never expected! 
Lesson #7: maybe sugar is keeping you awake!

Photographic evidence:

(We started the diet June 2nd, it took about 1 week to detox off sugars until my sleep looked like this:)

I know, HUGE difference, it's amazing!

***Please take this information with a grain of salt.  This is a blog.  You can't believe everything you read on blogs.  These results are in NO WAY scientific.  This is what is called anecdotal evidence (it worked for me, but it may not work for everyone).  But it's totally worth trying!***
I'm starting to see a pattern: Every Tuesday: "I'm so sick of eating only fruits."  Every Thursday:  "I am so sick of eating only meats."  Sunday:  "I could eat healthy fats forever!"
More and more people keep asking about my diet each day at work.  People know I only drink water and that I generally eat pretty well, but they're surprised at how delicious and fresh my "diet" meals look. 
Friday I was so excited to eat avocado and salsa!  It was delicious!  I was super hungry when I got back and walked into my office to see cowboy chicken sitting out in the kitchen.  I don't even love that place, but they had hot chicken, creamy mashed potatoes, and peach cobbler.  The cobbler looked so sweet and smelled like vanilla.  

I almost cheated.  

But I couldn't do that and feel good about it.  

So I didn't.
Let's pause for a moment to talk about people who cross the street without a crosswalk.  They are playing Russian roulette because cars won't always stop for you.  People these days are just not as nice as they used to be.
On my way home some man was walking his slow butt across the middle of the street.  He didn't even have the sense to run.  There were a lot of cars coming and most of them only slowed down enough to swerve around him, barely missing him.  As if that might teach him a lesson.
Well, monkey see, monkey do.
The old lady behind him saw how quickly he got to the McDonalds across the street and started to cross, again barely getting missed by a couple of cars.
And then, as if there was safety in numbers, a very pregnant mother holding the hand of a 2-3 year old child started crossing just after the grandmother.  At this point, I am about to hit these crazy streetwalkers, but I slammed on my breaks.  I should have honked my horn.  The people on the other side of me didn't stop for the people jaywalking.  They just swerved around me, barely missing the toddler.
Seriously people, is McDonalds worth it?  There was a crosswalk not even 30 yards away.  The crosswalk put you closer to the door at McDonalds, and more importantly, it doesn't put you in nearly as much danger!  The cars around me were clearly not as concerned as I was.  They just swerved around people like Mario swerves to miss green shells. 
If you are one of those rediculous people, I hope natural selection runs it's course.
(now, if you cross a slow street without cars around, you are welcome to jaywalk all you want.  But if you're crossing a busy 4-lane road, I think you're an idiot and I will have little sympathy when someone hits you.)
 I ate out over the weekend.  I found mostly vegetable meals with gluten-free noodles.  I felt like I pobably broke the rules a little bit, but it was good to know I can stick to the rules as much as possible when we eat out.
Lesson #8:  When you eat out, you can pick healthy stuff!
We ate with friends after church on Sunday.  We had grilled fish and a side of baked broccoli.  We had fruit salsa on top fruit for dessert.  It was neat to eat a meal that wasn't "on our list" but still followed all the rules!  It was so fun and delicious!
Our kitchen WAS clean, but it got dirty again before I grabbed a photo.  And now on to week 3!